Tips on How to Address Questions About Strengths and Weaknesses During a Job Interview

Tips on How to Address Questions About Strengths and Weaknesses During a Job Interview

Job interviews can be quite nerve-wracking, and often we find ourselves going blank when asked a question. One of the most difficult questions for most people during a job interview are “What would you say are your greatest strengths?” and “Can you please tell us about your weaknesses?”

Don’t fret! This article addresses how to best answer job interview questions regarding your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you feel properly prepared when asked these questions for future job interviews.

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How to Address Strengths and Weaknesses In a Job Interview

Why do hiring managers ask about strengths and weaknesses?

So why do potential employers even ask interview questions about strengths and weaknesses? There are a few reasons, the main one being that they want to know if you possess any self-awareness. Are you willing to work hard to improve those areas in which you might be weaker than others? As for strengths, hiring managers are interested in how these qualities in which you feel most proficient can benefit you. 

It is always a good idea to be prepared to address questions regarding your strengths and weaknesses before the interview. This way, you won’t feel thrown off when asked to describe your weaknesses and strengths.

Tips for Playing Up Your Strengths During a Job Interview

While you may think it is easier to list your strengths than your weaknesses, you would be surprised that many find this question very difficult. First, it is imperative to remain humble. You do not want to sound as though you are boasting. There is a fine line between being proud of your strengths and coming across as cocky. 

When talking about your strengths, you should be sure to list those that an example can back up. As well, those strengths should correspond to the job in question. 

Here are some examples of strengths:

  • Detail oriented
  • Creative
  • Able to multitask
  • Team Player
  • Innovative
  • Needs minimal supervision
  • Flexible
  • Organized
  • Good communication skills
  • Leadership

How to Best Address Your Weaknesses during a Job Interview

Keep in mind when asked about your weaknesses, you should not mention issues such as excessive call-outs or lateness, inability to complete a task on time and lack of attention to detail.

As well, you should not go into great detail. While you need to be honest, you should keep your responses short and not go into a lot of specifics. Only focus on those areas which pertain to the job for which you are interviewing. As well you want to discuss those areas in which you feel you have potential for growth. 

Examples of weaknesses include the following:

  • Lack of sufficient knowledge about a certain type of skill required for the job (ie, computer program/software)
  • Public speaking
  • Does not take criticism well
  • Overly self-critical
  • Perfectionist
  • Workaholic
  • Disorganized
  • Overly competitive

Additional Tips for Questions on Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. Be sure to follow up on your strengths and weaknesses with examples that pertain to the job in question.
  2. Be humble without understanding your skills, training, education, and abilities
  3. Focus on one or two specific qualities that directly relate to the position.
  4. Do not be vague, but also don’t go into too much detail.
  5. Do not say anything negative about previous employers.
  6. Don’t appear cocky, and never lie about your weaknesses or strengths.

Keep these expert tips in mind when asked to list your strengths and weaknesses during a job interview!

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